EDITORIAL: Russians Yearn to Breathe Partly Free


Russians Yearn to Breathe Partly Free

The Statue of Liberty implores the world to send America all citizens who “yearn to breathe free.”  But this may be a bit much to ask where the barbaric denizens of Russia are concerned. Perhaps, all we can ask for is those who wish to breathe partly free — such is the state of the benighted quagmire they call home.

One  of our most-admired readers is known as “Penny” and last week directed our attention to the latest global press freedom survey by the internationally-known human rights institution Freedom House, which is doing yeoman work in plumbing the depths to which neo-Soviet Russia has descended under rule of KGB tyrant Vladimir Putin.

In 2007Russia ranked a startling #164, out of 195 countries surveyed for press freedom, and it was designated “unfree.”  Russia ranked #170 out of 195 nations surveyed for press freedom last year, losing six places (it was one of only 64 countries to receive the shameful designation “unfree” last year, unable even to manage entry into the “partly free” group with lofty members like Guatamala, Lebanon and Uganda).  Russia’s state of development was tied with Sudan and Yemen, company Russians ought to be ashamed of keeping. And now this year, Russia has lost even more ground, falling to #174 and behind both Yemen and Gambia.  Only 21 nations on the planet had less press freedom than Russia, a member of the G-8 group of democracies. 

FH’s report on the Russian Internet reveals that a feeble 21% of the country has Internet access — that’s right, 79% of Russians cannot get online.  When you understand that, then you understand too how utterly ridiculous and outrageous it is for the Russophile apologists to claim that it doesn’t matter if the Kremlin controls all TV and newspapers, because the Internet remains free.  Even if it were free, nobody can access it. And anyone who thinks an Internet where bloggers are arrested for writing posts and even posting comments can be considered free needs to have his head examined.  FH classifies it as “partly free.”

Finally, a review of the annual FH reports on general political freedom yields truly ghastly insights into the nature of Russia’s current state of barbarism.  The 2008 report  shows Russia to be one of only a small handful of countries with a black arrow pointing down next to its entry, indicating that a clear trend of declining political freedom has been identified over the years.  Egypt, Congo and Burma are other such countries.  Here again, Russia is classified as “not free.”

Any Russian even vaguely familiar with his country’s history ought to be sickened by these facts.  It should horrify any Russian who loves his children to consider the possibility that he might be foisting upon them a life no different that that lived by his great-grandparents, or even worse.  And yet, the cowardly, craven citizens of Russia go on handing blank-check power to a clan of proud KGB spies and watching their precious liberty disappear bit by bit, year by year.



65 responses to “EDITORIAL: Russians Yearn to Breathe Partly Free

  1. Well, i’ve visited the FH website and found no information on methods used to calculate the “freedom” of press. So i can’t trust the results.

    And also it’s strange to live in country where most part of newspapers are opposite to the current “bloody reign” and suddenly learn that it’s counted as “not free”.


    Let us be of assistance. Your problem stems from your being an illiterate baboon, and is magnified by your lack of familiarity with the Internet — predictable in a country where the Internet is highly restricted and avaible to less than a quarter of the population.

    FH clearly specifies its methodolgy on its website, here:


    You owe an apology. Are you man enough to give one?

    • What country are you referring to, Agrippa?

      No sane person would describe Russia as having newspapers with the freedom to put any content they want into them. Nice try though.

      And, you didn’t look hard enough for Freedom House’s methodology. If you scroll down to “How are the country rankings determined?” on this link it’s very specifically spelled out in pdf format:


      You can do better.

      • Novaya Gazeta writes freely. Of course, four NG journalists were murdered for their work.

        There are also others like The Moscow Times, but they’re not investigative.

    • La Russophobe never apologizes, why should anyone else? I do believe that they La Ru is man enough, but of course never wrong, just like Putin!


      Please stop lying you wretched, illiterate little animal.

      We’re happy to apologize for any error, but you haven’t even TRIED to document one. You’re a sick, sick little troll and we pity you.

      • Hey LR, but now really: consider to stop calling people “apes”, “little animals” and such. It’s low.


        Not if they ARE apes. Then it’s just the truth.

        • Sorry for a double post.

          No, I don’t reather think they’re apes. Rather specimen of Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

          But whatever, it’s your blog.

      • Hey LR, but now really: consider to stop calling people “apes”, “little animals” and such. It’s low.

      • Sicks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. A childish response for another one of your childish insult tantrums.

  2. Internet highly restricted? By who?

    Sure if you are stuck in the boonies but most towns and all cities have internet access. Might add unrestricted. IE get to anything I need to.


    By money, Bob. Do give us the courtesy of actually reading our post, which documents that more than three quarters of Russians have NO access to the Internet because they don’t earn enough to pay for it. In addition, bloggers have been prosecuted and websites shut down outright. Click the “internet” category in our sidebar to read the full scope of the horror, and knock off your silly, valueless propaganda.

    • Any Russian with 100 rubles can go out and buy a ROL pay as you go card and use a modem to connect to the internet. When I lived in Moscow I had a broadband connection for about $10. That’s 1/4 of the cost here. Do Russians make 1/4 of my income, as a matter of fact most do. The Russians who aren’t connected to the internet are just not connected because they don’t want to be, or don’t own a computer. Every Russian, and I mean EVERY, has a mobile phone many of them are smart phones, everyone knows it’s very important for a Russian to have the latest mobile phone, in a few years the only mobile phones you will be able to get will be smart phones, in other words every Russian will have internet access.

      Yes, I agree that the government is jockeying for internet control, locking up people for blog posting, and that is bad. But more of the Russians I know with high speed internet still agree with what Channel 1 tells them, so just having internet doesn’t really make a difference.

  3. Another attack, this time on a Newspaper Editor. Moscali are stirring up.

    Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about newspaper editor Vyacheslav Yaroshenko, who is in a coma in an intensive care unit after being attacked and beaten outside his home in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don on 29 April, according to an RWB press-release, forwarded to UNIAN.

  4. Alright, i’ve missed it. Still, questions like “Do journalists practice self-censorship?” are kinda strange.

    “No sane person would describe Russia…” – hey, i live here and know what’s happening here.

    “predictable in a country where the Internet is highly restricted…” – not actually restricted, it’s just old phone lines, vast territories with not so friendly climates, distances at the countryside and so on. But the situation is changing, at the beginning of 2000th you could not even dream about access to the internet if you live at the country. And yes, bloggers… There was an histeria a few years ago about some jailed russian blogger, but it was completely forgotten that he was propaganding pedophilia, religious and racial intolerance, violence and so on (i was shocked reading that stuff), that’s against russian laws. And now the situation is completely the same.

    “Your problem stems from your being an illiterate baboon” – i think it’s you who owe me an apology, if it’s not a normal way of discussion in your country, of course.

  5. Well not having money to buy internet connection and it ebing restricted are two different things.

    It’s not like the government is blocking access to certain URLs like they do in China and many middle eastern countries. That is restriction. So please don’t try and play semantics. Oh and lest you forget in that bastion of democracy the great old UK ISPs are now forced to hold records of everyones internet wanderings should they need to be used in a court of law which could bring around self restriction.


    You’re the one who is playing semantics, and you’re doing so to avoid the point in the manner of a lame neo-Soviet propagandist. EVERYONE knows that Russia has lost television and newspapers to state control. Some say that doesn’t matter becaue the Internet is still vibrant. YOU said so. It isn’t. That’s a lie. Russians can’t access the Internet, the VAST majority don’t.

    How many blogger has UK convicted for blog posts and comments? Are you suggesting that Russia’s newspapers and TV are as free as UK’s? We’ve just shown PROOF they are not.

    Your babbling like the insane Russophile propagandist that you are, and you’re making a fool of yourself.

  6. Well, there it is – Agrippa claims that “some blogger” was arrested for “propaganding pedophilia, religious and racial intolerance, violence and so on” and that he was – shocked!

    The rule on this blog is to post a link to prove what you read. You didn’t do it.

    Second, isn’t it kind of funny that “propaganding religious and racial intolerance and violence” isn’t specified.

    Yet, when the government actually commits religious and racial intolerance and violence – noone in rasha, except for a very brave minority, speaks out.

    (Because the government’s acts against Protestants and Jews have been heavily documented on this site, and are easily findable, I won’t link to them. Because the government’s acts of violence towards any opposition have been heavily documented, I won’t link to them.)

    Third – freedom on the Internet. The LR blog has carried quite a few articles about how Taras Zeleniak, a Ukrainian, was arrested for posting political comments on a blog outside of rasha.

    LR has also carried quite a few articles about Pootler’s and rasha’s crackdown on the Internet.

    Yet, Agrippa comes along to tell us that rasha’s Internet consists of – pedophilia.

    And that there are “old phone lines, and distances.”

    In the US, the FCC implemented a policy of Universal Service – that means more than a 96% penetration rate has been achieved. That was a conscious policy implemented by businesses for communication among people.

    Yet in rasha – as always – excuses.

  7. elmer. I’ve missed you.

    You need to surface more.

    73% of Americans are online as of these 2008 stats:


    That’s versus the 80% of Russians that aren’t online which is pathetic.

    I’m betting that Agrippa is very pleased with the Russian numbers as one of Putin’s Useful Idiots or as a dumb little American lefty fascist, nothing could be more offensive to he/she than the Russian masses having access to information thus empowering themselves.

    I guess the sorry creature, Agrippa, our little defender of fascism from here in the US, Russia or wherever will typically not be back to defend their initial post.

  8. I see a bigger issue with the Agrippa’s comments. Note that the title of the article is Russians Yearn to Breathe Partly Free. Agrippa, and millions like him do not yearn. Fro me that’s the main lesson of this story.


  9. Felix, i know i’m free, though EVERYBODY KNOWS (such words usually mean “everybody thinks”) i’m not. So yes, i don’t yearn.

    Elmer, that happened years ago so i can’t give a link, most likely the blog doesn’t exist anymore (that’s for good).

    BTW, here you can see not only Russia, but also France, UK and even US:

    “73% of Americans are online” – alright, i had no doubds that USA is an economic power number one in the world, while Russia lost the cold war not so long ago, loosing territories it had even before the USSR, it’s industries, the state system has also changed to the opposite, and that resulted in collapse of the whole state’s economy (and then we had Yeltsin’s feudal-demcratic government of thiefs). No wonder Russia don’t have the required infrastructure to let everyone have an access to the internet yet. BUT again, the situation is changing and the “bloody reign” is doing what it can to help it. That’s strange for a government when “nothing could be more offensive to it than the Russian masses having access to information thus empowering themselves”, don’t you think so?

  10. A part of the George VII letter to russian embassador:

    “Let them have my whole country and my posession as a sincere and righteous sacrifice, and offer it not only under the protection of the highest russian throne, but also let em have it completely under his care and power, so kingdom of kartlosians will be counted as a posession of Russian state with all rights that all russian provinces have” (A. Tsagarelly. “Diplomas and other historical documents of XVIII century linked with Georgia”)

    Предоставьте им все мое царство и мое владение, как жертву чистосердечную и праведную и предложите его не только под покровительство высочайшего русского императорского престола, но и предоставьте вполне их власти и попечению, чтобы с этих пор царство картлосианов считалось принадлежащим державе Российской с теми правами, которыми пользуются находящиеся в России другие области».(А. Цагарели. «Грамоты и другие исторические документы XVIII-го столетия, относящиеся к Грузии)
    Yep, and also Russia saved Georgia from turks and united it. If not Russia, you would not even heard of the state called Georgia except the one of USA nowdays.

    To be continued

    • Yeah, it would be part of the Ottoman Empire.

      Oh wait, there is no such thing.

    • Well the fact is that King Solomon II of Imereti was totally opposed to Russian annexation and bitterly resisted.

      In addition, 2 years after the Russians invaded and occupied western Georgia (Kingdom of Imereti) the western Georgians were so sick of Russian rule, they requested military aid from the Ottomans in a desperate attempt to throw off the Russian empire.

  11. Being part of Turkey as opposed to being part of Russia? Most Georgians would take Turkey any day.

  12. You right, there’s no such thing, and also because Russian Empire kicked their ass. But anyway, Georgia would most likely be divided into several smaller countries or occupied by someone else. It was weak and atomised at the time it became a part of Russia.

    But anyway, how about, for example, Britain give independence to NI? However i was talking about the consequences of the USSR collapse, not the rightfullnes of it’s existance.

    • No, rather because the era of imperialism is over – in Turkey in 1922, in Japan in 1945, in France finally in the 1960s. And so on.

      Meanwhile the Russian Empire fell as the first in the XXth century, yet the Russian imperialism continued. Like the German imperialism continued for some time after the fall of the German Empire, until finally ended in 1945.

  13. “Russian domestic internet is highly restricted by the government, and those running websites or blogs have to be very careful about the material they post, or allow to be posted.” Visit badnameofrussia.ru, for example, or any of the anti-government websites, with all the calls to separatism and so on. You can see such things anywhere in .ru zone…

    Russia ranks 143 out of 179 on the 2007 Corruption Perceptions Index – lol i already read that thing. The method they used is just asking the people, residents and non-residents “what do you think about the corruption level in that country?”. With russian self-criticism and rising of all this “oborona” organisations, it’s no wonder we’ve got one of the highest score, lol. Also you can notice that number of countries taking part in rating have increased from 163 in 2006 to 179 in 2007, for example.


    You must hate “president” Dmitri Medvedev then, don’t you? He’s made corruption a major centerpiece of his administration, saying Russian corruption is one of th most serious threats to the nation. Do you suppport Kasparov or the Communists?

    • “or any of the anti-government websites, with all the calls to separatism and so on.”

      Ah. And people who write there are not being imprisoned (for “extremism” or “inciting ethnic hatred”) or simply shot in the head in police custody (like Yevlovyev)? Right?

  14. In addition

    “In the early 18th century, Kartli saw a partial recovery under Vakhtang VI, who instituted a new law code and tried to improve the economy. His reign saw the establishment of the first Georgian-language printing press in 1709.[17]

    Erekle II, king of Kartli-Kakheti from 1762 to 1798, turned towards Russia for protection against Ottoman and Persian attacks. The Russian empress Catherine the Great was keen to have the Georgians as allies in her wars against the Turks, but sent only meagre forces to help them.[18] In 1769–1772, a handful of Russian troops of General Totleben battled against Turkish invaders in Imereti and Kartl-Kakheti. In 1783 Erekle signed the Treaty of Georgievsk with Russia, according to which Kartli-Kakheti was to receive Russian protection. But when another Russo-Turkish War broke out in 1787, the Russians withdrew their troops from the region for use elsewhere, leaving Erekle’s kingdom unprotected. In 1795, the Persian shah, Agha Mohammed Khan, invaded the country and burnt the capital, Tbilisi, to the ground.[19]

    Solomon I, King of ImeretiaIn spite of Russia’s failure to honour the terms of the Treaty of Georgievsk, Georgian rulers felt they had nobody else to turn to. After Erekle’s death, a civil war broke out over the succession to the throne of Kartli-Kakheti and one of the rival candidates called on Russia to intervene and decide matters. On January 8, 1801 Tsar Paul I of Russia signed a decree on the incorporation of Georgia (Kartli-Kakheti) within the Russian Empire[20][21] which was confirmed by Tsar Alexander I on September 12, 1801.[22][23] The Georgian envoy in Saint Petersburg, Garsevan Chavchavadze, reacted with a note of protest that was presented to the Russian vice-chancellor Alexander Kurakin.[24] In May 1801 Russian General Carl Heinrich Knorring dethroned the Georgian heir to the throne David Batonishvili and deployed a government headed by General Ivan Petrovich Lasarev.[25]

    A part of the Georgian nobility didn’t accept the decree until April 1802 when General Knorring compassed the nobility in Tbilisi’s Sioni Cathedral and forced them to take an oath on the imperial crown of Russia. Those who disagreed were arrested temporarily.[26]

    In the summer of 1805 Russian troops on the river Askerani and near Zagam defeated the Persian army, saving Tbilisi from its attack. In 1810, the kingdom of Imereti (Western Georgia) was annexed by the Russian Empire after the suppression of King Solomon II’s resistance.[27] From 1803 to 1878, as a result of numerous Russian wars against Turkey and Persia, several formerly Georgian territories were annexed to the Russian Empire. These areas (Batumi, Artvin, Akhaltsikhe, Poti, and Abkhazia) now represent the majority of the territory of the present state of Georgia. Georgia was reunified for the first time in centuries but had lost its independence.”



    • Andrew, i believe Europe’s history is completely free of invasions, wars, and annexations, right, lol.

      • Two wrongs do not make a right Agrippa.
        Please try not to have too much of a grip on the old hot dog, it interferes with your (limited) intelectual capacity.

  15. Agrippa, your knowledge of history appears pretty woeful.
    The Ottoman empire actually outlasted the Russian Tsarist empire, finally succumbing to the British at the end of WW1.
    The result of the defeat (by the British empire) of the Ottoman forces in Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and the Arabian peninular (Saudi Arabia), allowed Mustapaha Khamal to overthrow the Ottomans and create the modern Turkey.
    Meanwhile in 1917, after a series of humiliating defeats, the Russians had collapsed into revolution and civil war.
    Georgia declared its independance, which was recognised internationally, even by the USSR, which then invaded in 1921 in order to restore the borders of the Russian empire.

    • Yes, after the revolution it declared independence. Communist government at the early times did not cared much about territorial integrity. And grateful nations (for helping in fight, witch finally led to the fall of RI) of Europe were happy to recognise the independence of Georgia. Thks.

      And it’s of course doesn’t matter that Ottoman Empire was terribly weakened by russians. Who cares.

      “Two wrongs do not make a right Agrippa” – the whole history is built on theese wrongs, and it’s continuing now not without the help of “civilised nations” of the west.

      • The Ottoman empire of the 1st world war weakened Russia, not the other way around Agrippa.

        Why do you deny the rights of Georgians, Ukrainians and the other former victims of Russian imperialism to have their independance?
        The Russian empire did very little to nothing for them, why should they want to remain part of it?

        Are you the sort of person who thinks only “great Russians” (surely an oxymoron if ever there was one) are the only ones to have a right to determine their own future?

        Is it because you are the typical Russian hypocrite, always whineing about “western imperialism” and conveniently ingoring your own horrific crimes?

        The major difference is that the nations of western Europe know that the age of imperialism is over, they have apologised for their past mistakes, and now concentrate on democratisation, development aid, and building of trade links and infrastructure.

        In the case of Northern Ireland, basically the UK is stuck with the place, the Irish republic wants no part of integrating with the north.

        • “The Ottoman empire of the 1st world war weakened Russia, not the other way around Agrippa” – read the history of russian-turkish wars.

          “Why do you deny the rights of Georgians, Ukrainians and the other former victims of Russian imperialism to have their independance?” – oh, hell with Georgians, they have longer history and completely different language, different mentality, and even different noses. But Ukrainians are actually, heh, russians thinking they are ukrainians. So, maybe Russia must “set free” 75% of it’s territories, leaving only the western part? BTW, do Ossetians have right for independence or not? Hm. Victims? What Russia did bad to them, if not to count the times of USSR (and remember, not all members of government were russians, Stalin was georgian for example)? Were they oppressed, were their languages prohibited or what?

          “The Russian empire did very little to nothing for them” – you know very little to nothing about it

          “The major difference is that the nations of western Europe know that the age of imperialism is over, they have apologised for their past mistakes” – yes, and now it’s time to follow our example and let go everyone who wishes to.

          • Actually Agrippa, Stalin was 1/2 Ossetian and at heart all Russian (Just see Lenins appraisal of his character).
            Besides, he is now one of Russias greatest heroes don’t you know.
            In the case of Alania (North Ossetia) they can do as they like. In the case of Samurchubalo (South Ossetia) which was majority ethnic Georgian until the first lot of ethnic cleansing by the Russians and separatists 1989 to 1992 in which 25,000 Georgians were evicted from this ancient part of Georgia (the Georgians have been there for over 8000 years, the Ossetians only began settling there in the 13th century when they were trying to escape Mongol invasions and the Georgians gave them shelter. Ossetians remained a very small minority until the opening of the Roki tunnel and the settlement of vastly increasing numbers as part of Soviet “divide & rule” tactics) turning the Georgians into a minority, and then the Russian sponsored ethnic cleansing of August 2008 evicted the remainder.
            Allow all the Georgian and pro Georgian Abkhazians & South Ossetians to return to Abkhazia & South Ossetia before any referendum on independance.
            Of course Russia and the separatists will not allow this to happen, as the vote would be to remain part of Georgia, hence the ethnic cleansing of the early 90’s and again in August.
            An interesting fact is that there are more Ossetians living in Tbilisi than in all of South Ossetia, and many of their boys (including one of my neighbors) served in the Georgian military in the August war.
            As for “yes, and now it’s time to follow our example and let go everyone who wishes to.”
            So how do you explain Russian opression in Ingushetia, Daghestan, and of course, Chechnya.
            As usual “Agrippa”, you ae simply a hypocrite.

            • Nice example of brain cleaning, Andrew. Who was Stalin is actually still a question. And he can be a hero to russians, just like Bandera is a hero to Ukrainians. At least he made USSR one of the world leading power. Even if i don’t like him.

              “the Georgians have been there for over 8000 years” – yep, and you can even find their printed passports inside the caves lol. Anyway, ancestors of osetians populated theese territories long before XIII cntr. SO was independent until it voluntary joined Russia in XVIII (and in some part to get protection from georgian invasions), and Georgia, actually, have no rightfull claims on it.

              “Russian sponsored ethnic cleansing of August 2008” – oh, looks like it’s useless. Your brains are completely washed.

              “An interesting fact is that there are more Ossetians living in Tbilisi than in all of South Ossetia” – hello, there was a united country called USSR, do you know it? Do you know how many georgians, armenians, ukrainians and so on live in Russia?

              “So how do you explain Russian opression in Ingushetia, Daghestan, and of course, Chechnya.” – how much should we give up for you to be satisfied? And in the case you are new to this world: Chechnya was de facto independent for a long time, that resulted in shariat courts, slavery, deceases and such things.

              • Wrong Agrippa.
                The Georgians were building Churches and towns in what is now called “South Ossetia” in the 4th C AD.

                Archaeological digs & historical records(including those done is soviet times) date the first arrival of Ossetians in the region to the late 12th & early 13th century. The Ossetians were in Alania (North Ossetia) prior to this, but there is a reason the Daryl pass was also called the “Gate of the Alans” because they were only to be found NORTH of it.

                “Medieval and early modern period
                The Ossetians are originally descendants of the Alans, a Sarmatian tribe. They became Christians during the early Middle Ages, under the Byzantine, Georgian and since 1767 Russian influences. Under Mongol rule, they were pushed out of their medieval homeland south of the Don River in present-day Russia and part migrated towards and over the Caucasus mountains (into the kingdom of Georgia and into the lands of present-day North Ossetia-Alania),[38] where they formed three distinct territorial entities. Digor in the west came under the influence of the neighboring Kabard people, who introduced Islam. Kudar in the south became what is now South Ossetia, part of the historical Georgian principality of Samachablo[39] where Ossetians found refuge from Mongol invaders. Iron in the north became what is now North Ossetia, under Russian rule from 1767. The vast majority of the Ossetians are Orthodox Christians; there is also a significant Muslim minority.”

                Now the Russian sponsored ethnic cleansing of Georgian & Pro Georgian Ossetians is widely documented.

                Just because you are a bit slow I will link to some reports for you.

                “On August 10, Georgia charged that ethnic cleansing of Georgians was occurring behind Russian lines.[41] On August 12, HRW researchers in South Ossetia claimed that they witnessed at least four ethnic Georgian villages still burning from fires set by South Ossetian militias and witnessed looting by the militias. A HRW researcher said that “the remaining residents of these destroyed ethnic Georgian villages are facing desperate conditions, with no means of survival, no help, no protection, and nowhere to go.”[42] On 13 August an interviewed South Ossetian officer said that the forces “burned these houses (…) to make sure that they [the Georgians] can’t come back.” HRW also learned from an Ossetian officer about the summary execution of a Georgian combatant, and that the looters, who were “everywhere” in the Georgian villages in South Ossetia, were “now moving to Gori”.[11]

                On August 12, Associated Press journalists toured by the Russian military through Tskhinvali claimed that they witnessed numerous fires in what appeared to be deserted ethnic Georgian neighborhoods and saw evidence of looting in those areas; they said that while a Russian army officer touring claimed said some of the buildings had been burning for days from the fighting, in fact none of the houses was burning before more than 24 hours after the battle for the city was over.[10] By 14 August, already after the official ceasefire, many international media outlets reported Georgian government and refugee stories that Ossetian and often also other pro-Russian irregulars (including reports of Cossack and Chechen paramilitaries) were looting and burning Georgian villages in South Ossetia and near Gori.[43][44][45][46][47][48][49] Some of the emerging stories featured reports of atrocities, including kidnapping, rape and indiscriminate murder. These reports could not be independently confirmed; as BBC News summed it up on 14 August, “The testimonies of those who have fled villages around South Ossetia are consistent, but with all roads blocked and the Russian military now in charge of the area, the scale of alleged reprisal killings and lootings is difficult to verify.”[50] The new waves of Georgian refugees bringing reports of the widespread pillage and “revenge” killings in the territories occupied by the Russian forces kept coming over the next days.[51][52][53][54][55][56][57]

                On August 13, Russian interior minister Rashid Nurgaliev said there would be “decisive and tough” measures taken against looters;[42] according to Russia’s Interfax, two looters were executed by firing squad in South Ossetia.[58] Nevertheless, on August 15, The Daily Telegraph reporter witnessed South Ossetian irregulars continuing to loot and pillage around Gori, often with the encouragement of Russian troops, including a Russian officer shouting to “take whatever you want”.[59] Vehicles were even carjacked from the UN aid officials by paramiliaries while Russian soldiers watched.[60] According to HRW, Russian military had indeed blocked the road from Java to Tskhinvali in an effort to prevent further attacks there, and by 14 August, researchers saw no more fires in this area; however, looting and burning of Georgian villages has continued in ethnic Georgian villages in Georgia’s Gori district.[61] On 13 August, Major General Vyacheslav Borisov, the Russian commander in Georgia, was quoted as saying that “now Ossetians are running around and killing poor Georgians. This is a problem and we are trying to deal with it. I have ordered my men to arrest anyone carrying out looting and other criminal acts.”[62][52] Also on August 15, the Russia-allied president Eduard Kokoity of South Ossetia, in the interview for Kommersant, officially acknowledged that the alleged ethnic cleansing of South Ossetia was in fact committed against ethnic Georgians, saying that his forces “offered them a corridor and gave the peaceful population the chance to leave” and that the Ossetians “do not intend to allow” their return.[63][64]

                Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the Tbilisi Central Hospital, meeting with injured from GoriRussian (Novaya Gazeta) and British (The Sunday Times) journalists embedded with the Russian and Ossetian forces reported that irregulars were abusing and executing captured Georgian soldiers and suspected combatants captured during the “mopping-up operations” in South Ossetia and beyond.[65][55]

                On August 16, an AP reporter witnessed groups of Georgian forced laborers in Tskhinvali under armed guard of Ossetians and Russians; South Ossetia’s interior minister Mikhail Mindzayev acknowledged this, saying that the Georgians “are cleaning up after themselves”.[66] The Independent reported that around 40 Georgian civilian captives, mostly elderly men, were “paraded” through the city and abused by South Ossetians.[33] On August 18, South Ossetian leaders put the number of the hostages at more than 130, roughly half of them women and mostly former Georgian guest workers.[19][18] The kidnapping of civilians by warring parties is a war crime according to the Article 3 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.[18]

                On August 17, HRW appealed to Russian authorities to “immediately take steps to end Ossetian militia attacks on ethnic Georgians” in the Gori district of Georgia and for the Russian military to ensure safe passage for civilians wishing to leave the region and for humanitarian aid agencies to enter. The organisation said hundreds of vulnerable civilians still in the area, including many elderly; they said they are afraid to leave after learning about militia attacks on those who fled. The UN described the humanitarian situation in the Russian military-controlled Gori as “desperate”. It has been able to deliver only limited food supplies to the city.[17]

                The looting and burning of Georgian villages in South Ossetia continued long after the ceasefire agreement had been signed. In the end of August it was reported that the Georgian villages Achabetiug, Kekhvi, Tamarasheni, Ksuisi and Eregvi were still under attack of Ossetian looters. It was also reported that according to South Ossetian officials ethnic Georgian civilians in South Ossetia were “detained for their own protection” and bussed to the Georgian side.[67]

                The Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs and the OSCE chairman Alexander Stubb twice visited the war-affected area in Georgia and accused the Russian troops of “clearly trying to empty southern Ossetia of Georgians.”[68] On 27 August, the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner accused the Russian troops of “ethnic cleansing, creating a homogeneous South Ossetia.”[69]

                On August 29, 2008, the refugees recently returned to the villages north of Gori which were still under the Russian military control had to flee a renewed harassments by the South Ossetian militias. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that some 2,300 Georgian villagers arrived in Gori because of security concerns.[70] The UNHCR official reported that that Russian forces had set up 18 checkpoints between Gori and South Ossetia, which were “an obstacle to the humanitarian relief effort and to people trying to return to their homes.”[71]

                On September 8, it was reported that Russian soldiers prevented international aid convoys from visiting Georgian villages in South Ossetia. Likewise the ambassadors of Sweden, Latvia and Estonia had been barred from visiting Georgian villages beyond Russian checkpoints on September 5. The purpose of their visit had been to deliver aid, assess the situation and verify allegations of ethnic cleansing in they area. In a statement they said the restrictions violated the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and the cease-fire deal approved by Russia and Georgia.[72]

                On October 9, 2008, an analysis of satellite images of the South Ossetia area was released which showed that hundreds of houses in ethnic Georgian villages had been torched in August, after Russian troops took control of the area, viz from 10 August to 19 August 2008.[73]”

                And “THE EVENTS of the past week in the small Caucasus republic of Georgia will prompt animated debates about Russia and U.S.-Russian relations. We view the events as confirmation of the dangerous challenge posed by an authoritarian regime unwilling to recognize the sovereignty of its former imperial possessions. Many will take issue with our interpretation, and that is as it should be. But the debate should be based on facts. Instead, assertions of the Russian leadership that have proved contrary to fact continue to circulate. For example:

                · Georgia committed genocide against the people of South Ossetia. This charge was initially leveled by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and has been taken up by others, including President Dmitry Medvedev, who on Thursday came up with the interesting formulation that South Ossetians “had lived through a genocide.” Mr. Medvedev has referred to “thousands” killed, and Russian officials frequently have cited 2,000 South Ossetians killed (out of a population of 70,000). They have said Georgia razed the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali. These purported depredations are given as the main motivation for Russian military intervention.

                A researcher for Human Rights Watch who visited Tskhinvali reported as follows: “A doctor at Tskhinvali Regional Hospital who was on duty from the afternoon of August 7 told Human Rights Watch that between August 6 to 12 the hospital treated 273 wounded, both military and civilians. . . . The doctor also said that 44 bodies had been brought to the hospital since the fighting began, of both military and civilians. The figure reflects only those killed in the city of Tskhinvali. But the doctor was adamant that the majority of people killed in the city had been brought to the hospital before being buried, because the city morgue was not functioning due to the lack of electricity in the city.”

                Independent journalists back up the account provided by Human Rights Watch. The Wall Street Journal, for example, yesterday reported finding Tskhinvali, where most of the fighting took place, mostly intact and with “little evidence of a high death toll.”

                · Russians in Georgia are “peacekeepers” on a humanitarian mission to protect civilians. This formulation has alternated with repeated Russian statements, repeatedly disproved, that Russian forces were not in Georgia at all, or were leaving, or were about to leave. In fact, journalists, human rights observers and others have documented that Russian troops have ranged far into Georgia, including the city of Gori and the port of Poti. They have razed, mined and looted Georgian army bases and destroyed civilian houses and apartment buildings.

                Militia forces under Russian control include South Ossetians and others brought in from Russia itself — what Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza described as “the North Caucasus irregular forces that the Russian military inexplicably encouraged to enter South Ossetia to murder, rape and steal.” They have attacked civilians in Gori and engaged in ethnic cleansing of Georgian-populated villages in South Ossetia. Remarkably, the Russian-allied “president” of South Ossetia acknowledged the ethnic cleansing yesterday in an interview with the Russian newspaper Kommersant, although he did not acknowledge the killings of Georgian civilians that others have documented. Eduard Kokoity said that his forces “offered them a corridor and gave the peaceful population the chance to leave” and that “we do not intend to allow” their return.

                A war crime, yes; but at least he was honest about it. ”



                • “meeting with injured from GoriRussian (Novaya Gazeta)”

                  Wikipedia? Someone screwed-up while editing.

                  I think quoting wiki is kinda weak – much better is to quote just their sources. (And even better, just the links to them – if they’re online.)

            • “Ossetians remained a very small minority until the opening of the Roki tunnel and the settlement of vastly increasing numbers as part of Soviet “divide & rule” tactics” – let’s follow your logic and force Ukraine to give us Crimea back, it would be fair

              • If there is a full free and fair referendum in Crimea, including the Crimean Tartars (who are pro Ukrainian BTW) and the result is to leave Ukraine and join with Russia, I see no problem if it is the will of the majority of the people.
                However, this is unlikely, due to the aforementioned Crimean Tartars who have no love whatsoever for Russia dur to, thats right, Russian ethnic cleansing of their population after WW2.

              • Really Agrippa, you are a bit of a 2 year old. I have met primary school children with better debating skills.
                So tell me, are you trying to emulate Agrippa, the Roman general, or Herod?

                • I’ve met primary school children with better debating culture than you Andrew. But don’t worry, that’s probably the trait of any whateverphobe.

                  And i’m not emulating anybody, that’s just a roman “nickname” that fits to me.

                  “I see no problem if it is the will of the majority of the people” – tell that to the democratic Ukrainian government.
                  And again, USSR != Russia, damn it…

                  • Yes, USSR = Russia.
                    How clever of you to work it out.
                    The USSR was by Russians, for Russians.
                    Look at the “Russification” policies that were enacted.
                    The mass deportations of ethnic minorities.
                    And before you start harping on about 1/2 Ossetian Stalin, the great purges were carried out by Yagoda & Yezhov,
                    Both ethnic Russians
                    In addition, the worst period is called the Yezhovshchina.
                    In addition, the ethnic Russian Molotov was intimately involved in the planning and (excuse the pun) execution of the great purges.
                    And then there is Nikita Khrushchev, which you Russians always call a Ukrainian.
                    Funnily enough he was born in Kalinovka (Russian: Кали́новка) is a village (selo) in Khomutovsky District of Kursk Oblast, Russia.
                    He worked in the Ukraine before joining the Bolshevik party, but he was and remained a Russian.


                    One other thing about Stalin, he mirrored Hitler in that Hitler was born in Austria, but considered himself a “great German” and worked for the aggrandisement of Germany.
                    Stalin was born in Georgia, but considered himself a “Great Russian” and worked for the aggrandisement of Russia.
                    Germany benefitted from Hitlers crimes, and is blamed for them, not Austria. And it is (and should be) the same with Russia. Russia was the chief beneficiary of Stalins policies towards the other republics, so it gets the blame.

  16. The (collapsed) Russian empire had NOTHING to do with the demise of the Ottoman empire, and this is the profile of the man who did the most to bring Turkey into the modern world.


  17. Lets see here…Free and Democratic Pro-Western Ukraine – Internet Usage Statistics:
    5,545,000 Internet users as of Aug/07, 12.1% penetration, according to ITU.

    Free and Democratic Pro-Western Georgia – Internet Usage Statistics:
    332,000 Internet users as of August, 2007;
    7.6% of the population, according to ITU.

    looooool ))))))


    As we understand your “logic,” as long as Russia isn’t in the bottom 99% of the world, being in the bottom 95% is just fine with you. We agree that your barbarically low expectations for Russia are probably justified, but we are still a bit more respectful of Russians than you seem to be and continue to hope for better than that from them.

    So Russia need only be as democratic as Ukraine and Georgia? Maybe you’re not aware of it (you seem to be aware of virtually nothing), but neither of them claims qualfications for membership in the G-8, so yo are really spouting nonsense. Unless of course you agree with us (and John McCain) that Russia should be booted off the G-8. If so, congratulations on your insight! A bit late, though.

    Both Georgia’s and Ukraine’s scores for press freedom are higher than Russia’s, so they need the Internet less as a bastion of freedom. We’ve never heard either one attempt to justify a lack of press freedom by claiming a free Internet, so the issue is utterly ridiculous.

    Moreover, both Georgia and Ukraine are impoverished BECAUSE OF RUSSIAN EXPLOITATION, you blockhead. What is Russia’s excuse?

    Is this really the best you can offer by way of defense of Putin? Childish, ignorant and utterly lame.

    Your limited intelligence seems to be preventing you from grasping a simple point

    • Well maybe if you are counting internet in the home, but Georgia is a nation with an “Internet cafe” culture.
      Many do not have internet at home, but most people use it by visiting an internet cafe, or going to a neigbor or relative that does have it.

  18. Hell, LR, whoever you are, your ways of discussion show yourself as barbarian much more than any russian.

    Right, fascist Ukraine (you should learn more about the modern Ukraine, i have several russian speaking friends there) is a democratic country, impoverished by industry built at the times of USSR. Lol. And 08.08.08 is the way civilised democratic states should act, that’s about Georgia. Lol again. Sometimes i think people like you are really living in fear of Russia. Come on, we don’t really need your territory and your life-giving juices, we don’t event want to drink your blood or anythink like that XD. And after all, if YOU think your “democracy” (that have nothing to do with freedom and people’s reign, one can be free even under the tsar’s reign), that’s not actually a reason to teach anybody else how they should live. Is it some kind of new religion or what?


    Thanks for admitting Russians are barbarians!

    You say “live in fear” like you discovered something. “Russohobe” MEANS fear of Russia, you blockhead. Russia is buzzing our country with nuclear bombers and providing aid to our most crazed enemies Venezuela and Syria and Iran. It’s ruled by a KGB spy who spent his whole life working to hate and destroy us. Naturally we’re afraid and want to protect ourselves.

    Just curious: Did you get your “brain” at K-mart? Was it a blue-light special?

    • “fascist Ukraine”

      It’s interesting. How do you define “fascist”?

      The government is not authoritarian (unlike the Russian), there are free elections (unlike in Russia), I don’t see much of militarism (unlike in Russia), people are not being murdered by the government forces in their thousands (are not being murdered by the government at all) – unlike in Russia, once again. They don’t even have the corporatist economic policy that Russia openly has and is even proud of this.

      Who else is “fascist”?

      • Hmm, do you know that russian schools are closing, russian tv-channels are being banned (“for violating some ukrainian laws” – for example, all movies must be translated to ukrainian (!) ), fascist organisations are free to do anything they want (not so long ago a book shop were burnt for selling books on russian – no one cares), and they even interfere at the church’s actions? If that goes on, there will be “no dogs and russians” signs in restaurants soon, hail democracy.

  19. “Moreover, both Georgia and Ukraine are impoverished BECAUSE OF RUSSIAN EXPLOITATION” – actually, Russia was just a PART of Soviet Union, however maybe the largest and most important part. And there were no doubts that USSR will remain forever, so there was NO oppression against smaller republics, some of those “oppressed” republics used to live even better then nowdays, at least everybody except complete lazybolds had jobs and funds to live. Than it all collapsed and Russia left with all USSR debts (and yes, nukes) repaid only at the times of evil Putin, and with a status of ex-empire-of-evil.

    • Yeah, and it just happened everyone had to speak Russian while the other cultures were supressed if not outright set to be completely destroyed.

      And yes, it’s also funny how the other post-Soviet countries had THEIR nukes taken away.

      Ingushetia has to be the land of “complete lazybolds” with the unemployment of about 75%. (But hey, they’re just some “blacks”, no one cares.)

      • “everyone had to speak Russian while the other cultures were supressed” – ?????????????????????????(i can place even more here) How it happened they did not forget their languages and i have, hmm, let’s see… (gone for a minute) at least Rustavelly’s poem printed in 60ths on my bookshelf?

        “And yes, it’s also funny how the other post-Soviet countries had THEIR nukes taken away” – i don’t know how it happened, ask US for example, no one had any wish to give nukes to many states that are just starting their independent existance. And looks like it was right desicion, i can’t imagine what could happen if Saak or Yushenko had nukes…

        “Ingushetia has to be the land of “complete lazybolds” with the unemployment of about 75%” – if you are talking about SU, than it’s a b**lsh*t, there was a law against sponging, so what you’re saying is that 3/4 of ingushs were criminals. If you are talking about modern times – it is strange you are wondering, for that’s not the most problem-free region in the world and there are troubles even worse than unemployment. Actually, we don’t need it, let France take it, or GB, or US, or whatever. PLEEEEASE. Nope. We have to deal with it or leave people to die.

        • On the example of the supression of the Jewish culture: http://web.bu.edu/law/central/jd/organizations/journals/international/volume23n1/documents/159-176.pdf

          Others fared worse – for example, the Chechen culture was to completely disappear, just like ALL Chechens were removed from their homeland (their books and documents burned, their ancestral towers dynamited, their cemetaries desacrated and destroyed, Russian settlers settled in their country). An attampt at complete eradication – a cultural genocide.

          “i can’t imagine what could happen if Saak or Yushenko had nukes…”

          Yeah, you could not invade them to loot and burn at will. What a terrible perspective.

          “If you are talking about modern times – it is strange you are wondering, for that’s not the most problem-free region in the world and there are troubles even worse than unemployment.”

          Yes, exactly. The very title of my source is “Violence pushes Russia’s Ingushetia towards civil war”.

          “Actually, we don’t need it, let France take it, or GB, or US, or whatever. PLEEEEASE.”

          Maybe ask Putin why he keeps sending Russians to die to keep the “blacks” from seceding.

          “Nope. We have to deal with it or leave people to die.”

          Deal with what? And you can take your people with you while decolonizing (the French indeed left their collaborators in Algers for death, if you are afraid of this Russians can evacuate the collaborators along with the settlers).

          • I think it’s not mentioned in this paper, but the worst single attack on the Jewish culture and identity in Soviet Union was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Murdered_Poets

            As of the “final solution to the Vainakh problem”, every sign of their presence in former Checheno-Ingushetia was to be eradicated – while the people themselves were to disappear in Siberia and Kazakhstan (where they were even forbidden to speak their language). The localties in their homeland were all renamed. They were erased from the Soviet history books in encylopedias of this period, a total wipe-out.

            Can’t get more Orwellian.

  20. And again:
    “everyone had to speak Russian while the other cultures were supressed” – tell that to democratic Ukrainian or Lithuanian government

    • Not excatly sure what you are trying to imply now, but there is no trace of supression of Lithuanian culture, language and national identity in the European Union.

      You claimed that Russia was “just a PART of” the Soviet Union, “maybe” the most important. In reality: total political and cultural dominance over the non-Russian republics (some of whom were even completely abolished) and nations (some of whom were designated to be completely eradicated, even from history!).

  21. Here are more excuses from Agrippa:
    73% of Americans are online” – alright, i had no doubds that USA is an economic power number one in the world, while Russia lost the cold war not so long ago, loosing territories it had even before the USSR, it’s industries, the state system has also changed to the opposite, and that resulted in collapse of the whole state’s economy (and then we had Yeltsin’s feudal-demcratic government of thiefs). No wonder Russia don’t have the required infrastructure to let everyone have an access to the internet yet.

    Agrippa, rasha, oily orthodox mother roosha, which is so good at organizing propaganda, so good at creating the appearance that Nazis still live and must be defeated, so good at living in the past, so good at killing its own people in various ways, has had many, many 5-year plans.

    But the 5-year plans turned out to be hot air.

    Since the sovok union fell apart in 1991, rasha and rooshans have had every opportunity to get their act together, and to improve their infrastructure.

    What has happened?

    Abramovich has a fleet of $50 million yachts, and I see rooshans glorifying him – and stalin.

    Berezovksy is a billionaire, who took billions with him to Londongrad.

    Abramovich bought the Chelsea football club. Why bother with the Internet in rasha? People might actually think for themselves – oh, horror!

    Every one of the rooshan oligarchs has pissed money away in Monte Carlo and elsewhere.

    What’s the rashan reaction?

    Glorify stalin!

    What is Pootler’s reaction?

    Put Khodorkovksy in jail!

    Infrastructure? Who needs it?

    Glorify stalin!

    What do you think, Agrippa – do you think that what rasha has done since 1991 is a rational way for people to behave?

    Do you think that what rashans have done is since 1991 is in the best interests of rasha and its people?

    Quite a few, especially “Russian dolls,” have left the country, because they got so fed up with it.

    From Pootler and the rashan people – glorify stalin!

    From Agrippa – glorify stalin!

    And excuses, excuses, and more excuses.

    • WTF you know about what russians think? Glorifying Abramovich? Russians can glorifying Stalin just for one thing: if he was the ruler now, Abramovich would be lost in concentration camps.

      BTW, elmer, i don’t know where are you from, but i hope your country will survive the same thing as Russia did and revive that fast, you as*hole

      And also, please stop saying “rasha”, you would not speak that way if we were talking face to face, would you?

      • Actually Agrippa, Elmer grew up in a former soviet republic as I understand.

        BTW, c*cksucker, as you are obviously a rashan as*hole, why dont you think before you open your cake hole?

  22. LR have you ever heard of Sergey Melnikoff? ;-)

  23. “Russia is buzzing our country with nuclear bombers and providing aid to our most crazed enemies Venezuela and Syria and Iran” – well then stop your “russophobia”, no one wants your blood. I was never a nationalist until two years ago russophobe articles started appearing in internet (even at ru-zone) like never before. If there will ever be a call to mobilisation against the west, i’ll go only because of this stuff you and your type are writing. Otherwise me and everybody i know would just послали бы их всех нахуй (you know what that means), if the west wouldn’t start first, of course. And yes, Venezuela, Syria and Iran are less dangerous than USA, that pretending to be the world police.

    • Well, I was the same until Russia started its agression all over again, invading Chechnya, ethnically cleansing in Abkhazia in 1993-94, threatening its neigbors, and demanding a sphere of influence.

      Russophobia is a natural reaction to the cancer that is modern Russia

  24. Rasha is really not a proper noun in the Rooskie Yazik and is declined as an adjective, of the people that you wish you were. Inferiority forced this, by Peter the first. Converting Mutants with filthy beards to pose as Kyivan Russ Ukrainians, whom you murdered and stole their culture, history and good name. Moscovia which is/was a mongol stronghold of the Golden Hoard that bred Gingus Khan’s ilk, happily murdering freedom loving slavs. No, not one of your neighbors would want or trust Moscali with their soiled pants near their property. Trouble is, moscal’s destiny, that you moscali want to share. Rasha is very alone and will be sorted out sooner than later lest a breeding pair is left.

  25. More excuses from Agrippa:
    WTF you know about what russians think? Glorifying Abramovich? Russians can glorifying Stalin just for one thing: if he was the ruler now, Abramovich would be lost in concentration camps.

    BTW, elmer, i don’t know where are you from, but i hope your country will survive the same thing as Russia did and revive that fast

    1) I know that rooshans don’t think. If they did, they never would have swallowed Lenin’s baloney. They never would have tolerated Stalin’s baloney. And they certainly wouldn’t tolerate Pootler’s baloney.

    2) Glorify stalin – there it is again. And sending Abramovich to a concentration camp – mighty Nazi of you. Therein lies the problem, Agrippa – rooshans don’t know how to think.

    And it’s always one extreme to another – “I want to see my neighbor’s barn burn down,” to “gee, let’s just have stalin kill everyone.”

    Is that rational? Is that how human beings want to live, Agrippa?

    3) You hope that other countries survive the same thing as rasha, and recover as fast –

    well, Agrippa, Europe survived the Nazis and the sovoks. Seems that, indeed, other countries actually did better than rasha, even the former sovok republics and satellites.

    Why? Well, for one, they stopped glorifying lenin and stalin. For another – freedom. For a third – acting like human beings, instead of like rooshan sovoks.

    • Elmer, maybe i’m nazi, but it’s only when i’m talking to your type. BTW, telling the whole population of any country “don’t know how to think” – isn’t it a nazi-style?

      “well, Agrippa, Europe survived the Nazis and the sovoks” – good for you that “sovoks” came in time to save your asses. Again ;)

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